In an ideal world (or even a less than catastrophic one) no AFL team wants to be having must-win games in April.
Unfortunately for Gold Coast Suns fans, Saturday’s game against North Melbourne is absolutely a must-win game if they hold out hopes of playing finals in 2017.
Currently sitting in 12th on the AFL ladder with 2 wins from 5 games, the Suns have had a disappointing start to the season and badly need a win regardless.
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But it is the two games after this Saturday’s game against the winless Kangaroos that makes this one so crucial – Geelong at Metricon then Port Adelaide in China.
On 2017 form, it will be a fairly large upset for the Suns to beat either of those two sides, especially given the injuries to key position backline personnel.
Which brings us back to Saturday. The prospect of a loss against 17th-placed North Melbourne will put the Suns at just two wins from their first 8 games. There is no going back from there.
What is more the Kangaroos are not a side where the absence of May and/or Thompson will be absolutely crucial – don’t get me wrong they are both guns when fit and would help the side be better no question – but the Roos don’t have those monster power forwards who will destroy the understrength backline.
Leslie will be able to go with Brown much better than he did Tex Walker while Kolodjashnij will be able to handle a Mason Wood type forward much better than an Otten.
But it all starts in the middle and the truth is the Suns, while the effort was there, were beaten badly out of the middle against the Crows.
Easy handball receives for running Adelaide Crowd distributors and into that forward line only to be ran back up the field by the umpire.
I don’t care if Ablett gets 30 or 15 touches, I want him hunting the ball, ripping into the contest.
And I want to see every single one of his team mates doing the same.
For four whole quarters.
This is play like your life depends on it stuff for the Suns, because their 2017 lives do.
A win against the Kangaroos will give the side the confidence injection they need to host Geelong and feel they are a chance.
A win against the Kangaroos gives the Suns options in 2017, and Suns fans hope.
A Loss and you can put a line through their finals hopes, in May, then who knows what threads will begin to unravel.
Just get it done lads. Whatever it takes.